Hand feeding birds: when and how you should start trying?

Whether you are a parrot lover, breed parakeets, want a tame house bird or regularly show your birds at exhibitions, you may have to feed young birds by hand at some point. When is hand feeding birds the best option?

The simplest way is by letting the parents feed their young. But sometimes this doesn’t work .. Then you can default to foster parents, but it’s not always easy to find them. Otherwise you can feed the little ones by hand, with the right nutrition. When is hand rearing birds recommended?

  • With poor breeding pairs. Some parent couples have not bred their young well or don’t breed successfully in previous clutches. In this case, hand feeding is the solution for the next clutches.
  • When it comes to precious birds. You don't want to take any risks during brooding or rearing. You prefer to take matters into your own hands. Literally in this case - by hand feeding the young birds.
  • When you want one parent couple to have several broods. Often the first clutch is artificially hatched, so that the couple can have multiple clutches in one breeding season. In nature, too, birds will start a new clutch when the former have flown the nest early.
  • If a nest has too many chicks. Some bird species, such as cockatoos, have a natural tendency to breed only one or two chicks, to the detriment of the weakest in the nest. By hand feeding some of the chicks, you can keep more of them alive.
  • With a large age difference within the nest. Older chicks can indeed bully their smaller nest mates. In this case, as in the previously mentioned case, you can feed the smallest or the biggest chicks by hand.
  • When you want to tame birds, hand feeding is necessary. For your own convenience, pluck the young birds out of the nest after two to four weeks, depending on the bird species. Then the most difficult period for hand rearing is over, and the young still have enough time to get used to people and to eat out of their hands.

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